You Made Me Realise is My Bloody Valentine’s acclaimed 1988 EP, and is the first My Bloody Valentine record to receive significant critical acclaim. With the exception of Strawberry Wine and Ecstasy, My Bloody Valentine churned out generic goth rock in the style of one of their major influences, The Cure. Beginning with the release of Strawberry Wine and Ecstasy, My Bloody Valentine began crafting their signature sound, leading to the formation to a brand-new rock subgenre called shoegaze.
Since this EP is only five tracks, I will do something unprecedented for me and review each song individually.
The album kicks off with the noisy “You Made Me Realise”. The lyrics, like many My Bloody Valentine lyrics, are incredibly obscured. Similarly, the vocal mixing is hazy and it is hard to decipher exactly what Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher are singing. Towards the end of the song, “You Made Me Realise” degrades into noisy guitar riffs played over a droning bass part. This part of the song reminds me of noise rock breakdowns in the style of The Velvet Underground’s “European Son” or Sonic Youth’s “Silver Rocket”. Overall, the song is basically perfect.
Next comes “Slow”, a steamy tribute to oral sex. The instrumental for this song, played by guitar and bass, is extremely heavy, perhaps referencing some sort of heavy foreplay. “Slow” is the weakest track on the entire release but is still great, a testament to how excellent this EP is as a whole.
“Thorn” is a song about a girl who has unconditional love for Kevin Shields, but he only brings her pain and is ultimately not good for her. It’s a sweet, relatable song with an even sweeter bassline.
Next up is “Cigarette in Your Bed”, which I assume would leave a burn mark on said bed. The lyrics are short and esoteric but are certainly violent. The song, sung by Bilinda Butcher, who has one of the sweetest voices in alternative rock, betrays the subject matter.
Finally comes “Drive It All over Me”, my personal favorite on this release. The chorus of this song is incessantly catchy, and the backing acoustic guitar track reminds me of a late afternoon drive through the countryside. The song’s main theme is “ignorance is bliss”, with lyrics like “Welcome to the fun time / We’re so happy here / We’ve no minds, we might as well be blind / We can lie together here / You can come down and join us“. It’s a perfect closer to a nearly perfect album.
Every track on here is absolutely essential to My Bloody Valentine’s discography, but Scott’s Spectacular Song Selections include “You Made Me Realise”, “Thorn”, and “Drive It All over Me”.